Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ember's Birth

It was just another day....in birth paradise! Ember was born gently into her mama's hands in a warm tub of water as the witnesses, her midwife, her daddy, her grandmother , her photographer and me the doula quietly, silently, breathed in the holy aire, the sacredness of birth! It seemed God was there too. Time stood still. I was changed. Everyone was. Birth changes the world. Can you feel it? All the babies coming today, even right now, are changing you...changing us...changing me.

It was my honor to attend the birth of Ember. I attended the births of Ember's big sister and brother too. These three little ones, this family, hold a special place in my heart. Watch the video below and you'll fall in love with them too. Each and every birth I attend is so gosh darn special to me! I am so very grateful to Megan for inviting me to be her doula and grateful and humbled to be called to birthings, called to birth work.




Ember's Birth Day from Angelina Lopez on Vimeo.

Megan has had her first baby at a hospital but chose to have her last two babies at Best Start Birth Center. Michelle Kazmier was her wonderful midwife.








Thursday, March 20, 2014

Matthew Vincent Phillips - Birth Story

Last week at this time I was in Red Bank, New Jersey at my grandson's 2nd birthday. How time flys! It seems like yesterday that Matthew was born. Below is his birth story in this grandma's words. I am sharing with my daughters permission.

 
March 9, 2012 - Friday evening Andrea and I went on a walk. It was a cold night. We walked to the Wawa, got a very delicious hot chocolate and went down to the beach.  The moon was coming up over the Jersey Shore. The night was dark, our spirits were high.  This was the day that docs had planned to take Matthew via Cesarean.  Andrea told them, "No thank you!". She was glad to be waiting for labor to start spontaneously and for Matthew to pick his birthday.  Over the last few days Andrea seemed to be having more and more moments of heavy endorphin highs, she was euphoric and soft.  There were also moments of painful heavy baby, heavy body, exhaustion, sleepiness, fear, and then she’d come full circle back to bravery. Andrea is so ready to meet her baby. We were almost back to the house when Andrea made a surprised sound. Then she told me she felt something grind against her pubic bone, or more like a clunk feeling. She hoped that something wasn’t wrong. I knew that it was very right. All that Rebozo jiggling I’d been doing to get baby off Mom’s pubic bone may have helped.  Matthew was getting curious to meet his mommy and daddy. He was ready to meet the world!

Tonight Michael and Andrea were invited to a friend’s 30th birthday bash.  Andrea didn’t feel up to it.  Michael’s friends wanted him to take the Limo to dinner with them.  Michael opted to drive himself.  Turns out that was a good decision.

Michael came home early at 10:30PM Andrea’s water leaked at 11:40PM

March 10, 2012 - At midnight Andrea woke me up to tell me about her leaking water and contractions.   I ask her how close the contractions are.   She says, “twenty minutes”.  I say, “Go back to bed”, trying to act casual, nonchalant and knowing that any sleep, even 10 minutes, could give Andrea the energy reserves she would need to get through her fast approaching labor…I didn’t know how fast!

Michael came to get me out of bed just as I was drifting off.  Andrea’s contractions have moved from 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 minutes apart in 45 minutes.  She is vomiting.  She gets in the warm tub.  It’s not long before she wants to go to the hospital.  She wants to go NOW!!!  I think she says she is going to call a Taxi because Michael is taking too long packing their bags.  I was trying to dry Andrea off and dress her and pack my stuff too.  At first I thought we could delay her and stay home longer like in some labors.  NOT this one!  Andrea was acting like this labor was moving precipitously fast and it was just very furiously powerful.  We (Michael and I) were caught off guard.  Yes, me, the doula, was caught off guard!  Birth is full of surprises.  Each baby, each labor, each mama has a different experience, a different story.  No two are alike.

I believe a woman when she says something in labor.  Rule #1 “LISTEN TO MOM”.  So we tried to comply and get Andrea to the hospital as quick as possible.  We got to hospital at 3AM.  Although Andrea was one centimeter dilated, I knew she was having a big baby and her body was doing a tremendous job getting him out.  She was naturally making some powerful contractions!!!  One of my worries had been that Andrea’s labor would be really long.  I see that often with big babies.  I’d been praying for hers to be quick.  Well, Matthew was not wasting anytime, he was on his way!  In two hours Andrea was four centimeters, then two hours later 7 centimeters. By 9AM Andrea was EIGHT centimeters dilated!!! She was fully effaced and Matthew was -1 station.

Andrea had wanted an epidural as soon as we arrived at the hospital.  When waiting for the anesthesiologist she was panicky and wanted a cesarean now!  I reassured her that the epidural would make her comfortable.  Michael also worked to calm her and he encouraged her to try and avoid surgical birth.  Finally her Epidural was in place.  But it wasn’t providing complete coverage. Again Andrea wavered and considered a cesarean.  The anesthesiologist came back and got her comfortable.  In most cases an epidural slows labor.  Not this time.  Andrea’s body was a birthing machine!  Meanwhile Michael was able to get some sleep.  Andrea was un-nerved by the shaking that was happening to her.  The hormones of birth often cause women to get the shakes, it feels like uncontrollable shivering or rattling.  It’s discerning.  Even with an epidural, it’s a very powerful time and a lot of work.  It helped when I read the Hypnobirthing Affirmations. Then Michael read the Rainbow Relaxation Script.  That really got Andrea relaxed and glowing!!  She said she was high.  The sun came up on March 10, 2012.  Andrea had brushed her teeth with Michael’s help. We brushed her hair and, what else, she put on her make-up!  All the while she was having wonderful, beautiful, powerful, contractions.

I was sure she was progressing.  Maybe baby would be zero station by noon or mama would be 9 centimeters. As long as these docs saw progress they were happy.  They were very conservative surgeons (sometimes we forget that an OBGYN is a trained surgeon) and they were section happy.  Numerous docs had told Andrea she should schedule a C-section.  They described shoulder dystocia in vivid, graphic detail.  The doc’s had scared Michael and Andrea for months now.  One doc, the one we saw that Monday at the biophysical, said to Andrea, “You have a generous pelvis”.  But then he said what must have been in her file, “cesarean recommended”.  The doc that admitted Andrea to the hospital tonight said, “Baby’s head isn’t too big, he may be 7 lbs.” That was encouraging but in the end the docs stick to protocol and stick together.

11AM Saturday, March 10, 2012

Even though Andrea’s labor had moved fast, in these last two hours, Andrea had not made the progress that met hospital standard protocol. That was all it took for the doc to make a strong recommendation for cesarean section.  Andrea and Michael asked everyone including me to leave the room so they could talk.

I LOVE THAT! I love that Andrea took her power into her hands. I so respected whatever this strong Mama decided.



Matthew Vincent Phillips was born via Cesarean Section at 1:56PM 3/10/12. He weighed 10 pounds, 11.7 ounces. He was 23 ½ inches long.   Andrea recovered quickly. Matthew nursed smartly.  They all fell in love like never before, like they could’ve never imagined.  Madly in love.  Blissfully in love.

One of my favorite memories from Matthew’s birth day is when I was resting on the convertible
Hospital bed while Michael was comforting Andrea.  As she labored he would kiss her or I should say, “They would share a kiss”.  That kiss was so sweet and so powerful!  The love oozed and I was actually embarrassed to be there.

After note: I didn’t feel like a doula at my daughters birthing time.  It might be compared to doulas who give birth, they are not in their doula brain, they are in their strong mama brain or maybe staying outside their brain altogether.   I was 100% the mother of the new mommy; in my mothering skin.  Yes, the whole woman, with her life experience as a birth doula, as a woman who has given birth, was fully present. But I was a mom. First.  Always.

This is just bits and pieces of what actually happened. Nancy Phillips and Joe Phillips were there and have their story.  Matthew has his memories.  We all have our version of the time around Matthew’s birth day, the day Michael became a daddy, the day my baby girl became a mommy. This is one version – my version. Happy Birthday Matthew! Love, Gamma Rosie
  

A newborn babe brings
light to the cottage,
Warmth to the hearth
And joy to the soul,
For wealth is family,
And family is wealth.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm addicted to Essential Oils!

I want to share with you first. You heard it here! I am now more than a birth doula! I am a Young Living Essential Oil Distributor! Over the last 13 years that I have been attending births I have carried at least two essential oils in my Doula Bag to every single birth. I have never been at a birth without essential oils. I carry at least Lavender and Peppermint oil. People, nurses, doctors, LOVE these smells and the non-medical atmosphere the oils bring! Lavender is so relaxing. Peppermint is good for nausea and also good for energizing me or energizing a laboring mom who is running out of steam.

What I didn't know is that there is a whole lot of other great oils that are good for a whole lot of other things besides childbirth! I love the ways that oils have enhanced my life and even my dogs life! Oils can be used to reduce swelling, relieve tooth ache, belly ache, relieve headaches and itching and body aches and pains. They can be used to lose weight, gain weight, etc. Just ask my husband who gets lathered with my concoctions daily. If he says he has indigestion I whip up a bit of coconut oil with peppermint oil and lather his belly. If I think the dog looks sad I put some joy on the dog! My wash is cleaner and I splurged on some Patchouli just for a fun, exotic, romantic hippy lovely vibe! But my favorite oil by FAR is Frankincense, no wait, it's Thieves, oh heck I can't decide! Let me know if you can.



The bottom line is that many essential oils:
• Are immune enhancing
• Support the body’s natural defenses
• Support the immune, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, digestive, nervous, and other body systems.
• Aid in maintaining normal cellular regeneration
• Are mood elevating
• Are antiseptic (topical use only)
• Are high in antioxidants
• Are aromatic
• Are oxygenating
• Boost stamina and energy
• Help you relax
• Help manage stress and frustration
• Help reduce the appearance of aging
• Improve mental clarity
• Promote overall health, vitality, and longevity

Please email me at rosiepeterson@ymail.com if you are interested in buying a Premium Starter Kit for your family. It comes with 11 essential oils, a diffuser (valued @ $75) and other goodies.

Love you madly! ~Rosie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Breech Babies

My friend Jennifer, who is pregnant with her second child, emailed me a question today and I thought of you, my two blog readers! Do you have breech baby questions?

Here is Jennifer's question from yesterday.

How successful is it to attempt turning a breech baby? I ask because I had a friend whose baby was breech and so they just automatically scheduled a c section. I thought that was crazy to just let it go so easily. Is that common to not even attempt to turn the baby?!? But then another friend said hers was breech and they were able to turn her even in labor. She said she had an epidural and even with the epidural it was painful, but they did it successfully.

So can most babies be turned successfully? I wouldn't be ok with it if the doctor told me three weeks before due date to just schedule my c section. But, maybe that's why about 1/3 of babies are now c sections. And I'm sure there are cases where it's medically necessary, but surely not 1/3 of the time!

Here is my answer.

Hi Jennifer,  You ask good questions. I wonder if your friend who had a cesarean for breech baby wishes she would've asked questions? First read this, I think it may answer most of your questions.

What is the Evidence for using an External Cephalic Version to turn a Breech Baby?

There is a lot of discussion happening about how 'breech' is not abnormal but just another version of normal. There are a lot of midwifery work shops teaching how to deliver breech babies vaginally. It's a dying art that many are trying to keep alive. I have a couple of friends who attended the Heads Up Breech Conference last year. One of the most famous and famously loved OBGYN's who attends VBB (Vaginal Breech Birth) is Dr Stuart J. Fischbein!  Read about him at Birthing Instincts with Dr. Stu

God bless you! ~Rosie
Rosie Peterson Curtis, Doula
760-443-6471 cell 24/7


Another family's baby is due around our meeting time. If I am called to join a woman in labor I may need to reschedule my meeting with you. Thank you for being flexible.

 ________________________________________________________________________________
Note:This blog is straight from my email box and completely unedited. If I thought I was going to post this email to my blog I may have been more politically correct in a couple of words. But this is the raw deal. -Rosie
 ________________________________________________________________________________

Although Jennifer's baby is not breech, with this pregnancy she is much more interested in all things pregnancy related. She emailed me after she spoke to her doctor about vaginal breech birth today. Here is my response:

Hi Jennifer,

Your doctor sounds interesting. I think I would like him. :)  He's right in saying that breech does not necessitate a c-section, but the doctors will ALWAYS offer it just due to past lawsuits. Honestly Jennifer, many doctors do much more than 'offer it', they even tell the woman that they cannot be her doctor anymore! That she has to find another doctor because he/she will not do a Vaginal Breech Birth. Then the only doctor that she finds that may support Vaginal Breech Birth is not in her insurance group. Care providers tell these women terrifying, exaggerated, stories and pressure her to have a Cesarean. Still women can always refuse a Cesarean. Some women have been known to labor at home as long as possible with her breech baby and then go to hospital too late for a Cesarean. I think that it is too bad that our society puts women in that stressful situation. In California I believe if a woman really wants to have a Vaginal Breech Birth she can find a care provider, doctor or midwife that can assist her. Sometimes the care provider with that specialty is not in her insurance plan and the family will pay out of pocket.

The positions your doctor was referring to is referenced on one of my favorite websites. The position is called a forward leaning inversion.  Any one and everyone who finds out their baby is breech will want to check out the Spinning Babies website and even attend a Spinning Babies workshop. There is a workshop in Anaheim on March 15th. Although this upcoming class is more geared toward birth workers and not parents and pregnant women, anyone who is not a birth worker could email Gail and see if she will make an exception. Gail Tully is the founder and she is also available for teleconference. You can read about Gail here. She usually encourages pregnant couples to attend so if you are interested call or email Gail, she's very approachable!

Spinning Babies is a great resource for all birth workers and anyone who is pregnant. I've taken Gail's workshop twice and it helps me a whole lot in my Doula work.  The premise isn't that babies need to be corrected or manipulated (really babies are brilliant!), only that our postures today are sometimes not what they used to be when we were a more active people. And by active I do not mean getting in a car and driving to the gym and doing a prescribed amount of weights and cardio and then DRIVING home! There are postures that pregnant women can practice at HOME that are more 'helpful' in aligning the baby and encouraging baby to be in an optimal fetal position. So although babies almost always find the path of least resistance and come out just fine, it's nice to read Head down is not enough and maybe prevent back labor (occiput posterior) or learn to move in ways that help baby rotate into a position where baby is head down and facing moms back (occiput anterior). There are many head down babies that are being born by Cesarean Section just because they are head down but in a occiput posterior (OP=baby facing forward) position. OP babies cause back labor and many of these moms get epidurals. Then it is very difficult for a mom to push out her OP baby when she is numb and has no sensation (OP babies can be harder to push out) and many of these moms end up having Cesarean Sections although their baby was head down (Vertex position).  Some exercises in Spinning Babies help to balance moms ligaments and release tension, giving baby room to rotate into an OA (Occiput Anterior=facing moms tail bone) position. There is a lot of information in Spinning Babies and it is all stuff lay people, non-medical people, can understand and can do! The exercises described on Gail's website are not harmful to mom or baby.

I want to mention also that years before I ever heard of spinning babies and optimal fetal positioning I attended home births where midwifes knew these things and had great success positioning moms and helping a slow labor or a painful back labor resolve itself.  These same home birth midwives also know how to support vaginal breech birth. Home Birth Midwives Rock!

If you have any questions feel free to call me.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

OPEN!

Yes. Being THAT open can be painful. Being vulnerable, raw, open to change, opening your heart and your arms to welcome a new life is almost always an intense, powerful, painful, and mind blowing experience.

http://wonderfullymadebelliesandbabies.blogspot.com/
I wonder why we call childbirth "Labor" instead of "Open"? "She's in labor", is what we often hear. "She's opening, it's her birthing time" resonates more with me. What words would you like to use? How can we change the language around birth to better draw a visual picture of woman's power and beauty during her opening time? Much of the way we communicate has changed in recent years. Many new words have been born. Some old words have died. Some old words carry new meaning today. I propose that we rethink the words we associate with birth. As part of the work we are doing to improve birth I believe language around birth must be considered. Childbirth is about opening! It is eye opening for sure! Discovering how you got here, how your mom opened for you to be born is eye opening. Discovering how 300,000 women are opening every day to birth their precious baby is eye opening especially when you are one of those women on the day you give birth. The day you OPEN.

Your doula will encourage you to go for it! Be courageous, allow yourself to OPEN.

Your doula will not judge you if you want to take it nice and slow. You are going to OPEN in your time. Not your husbands time. Not your doctors time. Not even the worlds time. Actually I often think THERE IS NO time in birth. Only opening. Lots of opening.

You should know this too. That when you are opening and your mouth opens, and your instinct may be to bite something or someone, your doula will be watching closely so that you won't bite your partner or your doula. In the photo above it is possible that the working woman is at that place where biting may be her instinct. This is just one of the little things that people don't talk much about. We may have a good laugh about this moment at our postpartum meeting. But it's not really dinner party talk (except for in doula groups). This biting story is one that slips into the footnotes of your birth story and is soon forgotten....except by your doula. ♥

Something else.

When looking at the photo above what do you see?  I see a woman pushing her baby out. She is working hard. Please look again at this image and imagine with me that this woman just crossed the finish line after running a full marathon. Imagine her partner is just giving her a towel and helping her dry her wet, sweaty, cramping body as she's bent over catching her breath. Image she is SO relieved to have crossed the finish line that she is crying. Pause. How does the marathon story make you feel (feel in your gut)? Inspired? Marathon runners invoke admiration and positive emotions from most of us.  Why is it that very different feelings, like sympathy and fear, surface for many people when they realize this is a photo of childbirth?

What else do you see in this photo?  As I notice the woman who is bent over, working hard, I also notice that she has 'another woman' by her side and that woman is CLOSE to her. The other woman is leaning in to assist the working woman with something. This helper looks confident to me.  She probably loves the working woman. The helping woman looks like she has done this before.  To me the dude appears to have a furrowed brow. He may have never been in this position before. He is loving and willing (he's there isn't he?) but he may be baffled and a little disturbed by this emotional, raw, display by his loved one. Another thing I notice is that the working woman is encircled by support and love. This is the thing she will remember. Even more than her gold medal. In twenty years as she is driving down the street she will be daydreaming of that finish line and remember her power and she will remember these two people. Or she will be overcoming another life hurdle and remember her successful work on this day. She will draw from the power of this day. She will remember to call on a support circle and she will face this new hurdle with confidence. ♥








Today's email to one of my sweet new mommy's

Hi Mama, below is a great local resource for breastfeeding moms. The owner of San Diego Breastfeeding Center is a lovely lady named Robin Kaplan.  Call her if you have questions. The Breastfeeding Support group meets every Wednesday @ 12:30-2:00PM

1947 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 606-2211

Babies In Bloom is another great local resource. Rochelle McLean is the owner and as close to an angel as you'll ever meet! Babies in Bloom's breastfeeding support group, called the Lactation Lounge is held on Tuesdays and Fridays. Check out the events calendar here. You may also be interested in the Baby Wearing 101 class this Saturday @ 11AM!

1988 Hacienda Drive
Vista, CA 92081 View Map
760-940-BABY

My favorite breastfeeding resource online is www.kellymom.com  If you look through all the heading and you will find this resource provides an endless amount of sensible information! 

Did you call your doctor about your concern with your postpartum bleeding?  Also, how are your hemorrhoids? Better? Worse? The same? Did you read anything helpful in the information I sent?

Your Baby Shower was beautiful! You looked amazing and well what can I say about your handsome little man?!! *Sigh* I only wished he would have opened his eyes. But new babies rarely do when their belly is full and the sun is bright & warm and all the arms that held him were so loving. Anyways I know that he knew I was there :)

God bless you today dear sweet Mama! 
Rosie (Peterson) Curtis, Doula
760-443-6471 cell 24/7


Note to reader: 1)I want to mention that although I did attend this clients baby shower I rarely ever go to baby showers of my Doula clients. I would have NO personal life if I attended each 1st birthday party and baby shower that I was invited to. That is a hard reality. 2) Please notice that I refer my clients to their Doctor or Care Provider and real live, local support people (Lactation Consultants, etc.) before I refer to websites.
 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Rainbows

I am happy to announce the birth of Hannah Ruth Baker on November 29, 2012. Hannah's was my first rainbow birth as a doula. Hannah was born into water at home and into her mom's hands at 9PM the day before the one year birthday anniversary of her twin brothers, Henry and Elijah, who were still born, born to heaven on November 30, 2011.

These baby's that come after the heartbreak of loss and that bring new hope, promise of a bright future, have come to be called rainbow babies. Hannah's mom says it best, "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."

I thought, as did Mama Robin, that Hannah would come in December. I joked that she should come on my birthday 12/3 or on the much notorious 12/12/12! The morning of 11/29 we all thought Robin was having warm up practice contractions. It was throwing things off balance, very disconcerting to think that Hannah could possibly come so close to her brothers birthday, maybe even on their birthday. What was God doing, I asked myself. And I prayed.
9:07AM text from Robin: Stronger, not closer. Backache and feel like need to pee with them.
I got kind of jumpy since Robin has such quick births.  I can testify to that since I've been Robin's doula four other times. I wanted to go up to Temecula and be with Robin. But she reassured me that they were plenty spaced out and didn't want me to come up for these "multip braxtons"* as she called them. Robin even timed a few for me. They were still 15 minutes apart.

In a few hours it became clear that Hannah and God had picked this day for her special birthday. I passed the afternoon in my office while Robin stayed busy preparing and delivering a new mommy's encapsulated placenta. Robin and her mom, Ruth, were also sewing up a storm. They finished little Hannah's coral and turquoise curtains and dust ruffle, then at 2PM Robin and her mom did Robin's belly cast!
Robin shared something really special - in a text of course.
"Really intense one while driving to deliver placenta pills. Was thinking of twins. Boom, huge rainbow during contraction. Awww"
1:05PM text from Robin: Last cntrx could feel cervix opening. Feels like pulling cramp inside. So cool!
Rosie: I'm jealous
Robin: Lmao. We are so weird! 
Robin: More mucous plug just now ....a red clump
Rosie: Love the play-by-play : ) What's for dinner tonight? How far apart now?
Question:Who could be texting about mucous, bloody show and dinner in one sentence?
Answer: A Doula

By 5PM Robin couldn't type or her text didn't make much sense so I knew it was time to head over. I was on the I-15 headed north when Robin's text to me read, "That one hurt, lasted 1.5 minutes"  Next text was that the hot pack felt really good on her back.  That's when I realized that she was in her doula head. And she is a great doula! So now what could I, her doula, do for her? What could I do for Robin when she knew comfort measures, what works, what doesn't, all so well?
I would hold the space for her. I would love her three excited little boys! Heck, even if I did nothing Robin would know that my love for her was present. I could pray. I could always pray. I prayed all the way up to Temecula!

When I walked into the house Grandma Ruth had the three boys lined up in front of her. She was having a serious talk with them. Something about mama having the baby and if grandma asked them to do something she would need cooperation.  "What is cooperation?" asked Owen.

I went to find Robin.  First I found Michael in the kitchen on the laptop finishing up some work. After chatting with Michael a bit Robin sauntered down the stairs. "Rosie were you trying to miss this birth? I'm 8 centimeters!" She was in the cutest bikini and looked like a model, not at all in labor land. Robin did some contractions there in the kitchen, leaning on the counter, while giving some last minute directions to her team. I was familiar with Robin's busy efficient labor routine. I told the midwife, Caydee, "She'll fold clothes and stay busy until she gets in the water, then the baby will come out." I may have been thrown off by her nonchalant seemingly comfortable labor if I didn't know Robin so well.


When Robin did go upstairs to get into the tub everything slowed way down. The energy was shifting. Michael was reading night time stories to the boys and singing to them like he does every night. His singing to his children always makes me cry. Soon the boys came to kiss Robin goodnight while she labored in the warm tub. The boys were all chatty about who wanted to be woken up for the birth. After the boys were tucked in Robin and Mike spent alone time while we (Andrea, Caydee, Victoria, Ruth, Erika and I) made ourselves sparse downstairs. Andrea Meyer was the senior midwife, the backup for Michelle Freund. Michelle was out of town. Caydee was Michelle's assistant who has a relationship with Robin so she acted as the main midwife that night. Victoria was the photographer and then there was just Ruth, Robin's mom, Erika, Robin's sister, and me, the doula.


Soon Robin was sounding more active and we joined them in the bathroom. Robin has one of those big, very roomy bathrooms with a large deep tub.  Mike seemed pretty cool for being watched by six women encircled around he and his bride. He was focused on Robin, they were cheek to cheek. Our total focus and attention was on Robin too. The music was lovely. The stage was set. It was 8:30PM.

7-18-13 Today I will try to finish this birth story.
As I read my words above I wondered why I had not finished Hannah's birth story. I believe that I got emotional and it was too hard. It was at this point in Robin's labor that she cried and Mike wiped her tears. It's not unusual for a woman to cry at this point in labor.


But Robin's tears were for her twin boys. The last time she'd been pushing she was pushing out Henry and Elijah. And it broke my heart to remember that day. I held those precious boys and grieved with Robin and Mike. The music played away in the background. All I could think of is that while honoring the twins we could, we would. choose. to. honor. this. new. life. We would be grateful, be present. I prayed for words to share with Robin. To make it okay. But she was more whole, more knowing, more strong than I could know. Our Father God was with her. Robin took her time experiencing her grief as long as she could while not delaying Hannah's moment to shine. And shine she did!

In the steamy bathroom Hannah slipped into the world, into the tub filled with warm water, into Robin's hands. Into a room filled with witnesses that were changed forever. It was 9PM.

Hannah meets her Mommy
Then she greets her Daddy
Time stood still as it does when we take the time to notice natures miracles. To me time stands still at each sunset and sunrise...and at each birth. Birth commands our attention. Everyone reading this may also want to take a moment. Take a deep breath. It's called The Birth Pause. Moments like Hannah's birth deserve a moment, a prayer. Mommies and babies need to catch their breath, both literally and figuratively, after the journey of birth. Soon enough time moves on.

It seems like I ran around the rest of the night in a fog, trying to be helpful and not be in the way. I made Robin's herbal bath and fixed up some light snack for her that she never ate. She was enraptured by her beautiful, perfect, chubby, pink baby GIRL! Of course we knew Hannah was a girl but we weren't prepared for the full reality of her. It's like you know when your pregnant you are having a baby but meeting baby face to face is always such a shock, a delight, a miracle!!! 

Michael got out his guitar and sang to Hannah. Then Robin and Mike slipped into their bed and took turns holding their daughter. Caydee did the newborn exam. Hannah weighed 7lbs1oz.

Then Robin and Hannah went back into a fresh tub of warm water, a herbal bath that was good medicine for healing Robin's perineum. 

It is 1AM  and I am the last one to slip into the night and leave the new family to nurse and sleep. Guess which one Mike did and which one Robin did.

Today you will find Robin busy juggling her three fun boys and her toddling laughing Hannah. Along with motherhood Robin has a busy Placenta Encapsulation business, a Birth Photography business, Doula clients calling and she is a part time dental hygienist. *Whew*

Here is Hannah's birth featured on Birth Without Fear website.

http://www.birthblessingsphotography.com/blog/

Hannah & Rosie Time
https://www.facebook.com/BirthBlessingsPhoto

11/4/13 After Thoughts
Now that Hannah's first birthday is fast approaching I am thinking more and more about Hannah, her mommy-my friend, and the gift of knowing them, the blessing of being their Doula.

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Life can be bumpy, but when I consider the blessing poured out and received into my heart each time I am honored to attend birth I am speechless. Not quite actually, as you can see here I am not speechless. But finding words is challenging. In all honesty I am often ashamed of any weak moment that I might forget my fortune and whine or complain about the bumps. Welcoming sweet wet brilliant babies earthside is as close to heaven as I can imagine.  I thank God for calling me to birth work.


 *Multip definition

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Birth News

Robin laboring with Owen 2007
I love being a birth doula! I love my clients! I love being on-call! I even feel out of sorts when I am not on-call.  I think my revised schedule of taking one or two families every month is perfect for me. This allows me to look forward to my prenatal and postpartum meetings, still see my grandchildren and my large extended family and attend some doula circles and some continuing education (Rebozo, Spinningbabies, Neonatal Resuscitation).

I would love to share with you the last few birth stories and some photos of the amazing, inspirational families I meet! But the premise of doula work is that it's private. "It's Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth" is not just a empty quote. It is her birth. Her's to process, grieve, celebrate, revel in, share intimately or with the world! It's the new Mommy's story. She made a baby, a whole new world, she made herstory!

If I attended your birth please let me know if you would like to share your birth story here (with my two readers) or share the birth story I wrote here. Or if I can link your webpage and your story ~ that would be nice too.

I will share just a bit, scattering the details so these stories could be anyone's.  Labor Day is a good day to labour in childbirth, rightly so don't you think? Last year and again this year I attended Labor Day births.  This year a first time mom had her baby in 6 hrs. 20 minutes. Her grace, her delicately selected, sweet, soft words were magical. At one point I was across the Birth Center suite as she labored in the warm tub, encouraging her baby, urging him with loving words to come into her arms. Only the midwife, who was by moms side, heard her words. I could see this midwife was moved. I only wished I'd been within earshot.

I attended a homebirth the next day. I got the call at like 4AM, arrived at  4:30AM and baby was born at 4:44AM. I am so glad that I had spent a day the week before listening to mom's fears and doing some prodromal, prelabor contractions with her. When her contractions did not change and it was getting late, mom took a hot shower, we did some side lying release and I tucked her in bed with a hot water bottle on her back. She slept through the night and I went home in the morning. A week later I barely had time to say a few words of encouragement and BABY WAS HERE!

I especially enjoyed interacting with the older sibling at this homebirth. The 3 year old big sister was such a delightful, sweet and busy birth attendant as the sun rose on her baby sisters birth day!

A few days ago I attended another first time Mommy. She gave birth in a Birth Center that does not do water births. The midwives do not have permission to catch babies in the water. They have nice labor tubs that women can use to labor in (Moms LOVE the warm water!). Then they move the woman to the bed for the birth. The birth should not happen in the water. Last night this FANTASTICALLY laboring woman surprised the midwife when her baby almost slipped out in the water - Oops. The midwife had stepped out of the room, thinking the mom would be pushing a little longer. I noticed a good size caput of baby slip out during the next contraction and called the midwife back. The mom stood up and the midwife caught the baby. The midwife handed the baby back to the new Mommy and  Mommy sat back down in the warm water with her baby, cord still attached. Kind of tickles me that it was virtually a water birth. 

Sometimes when I meet with prospective clients in the interview time or meet prenatally with families, I ask them to give some thought to the question, "if you could be born again how would you like to be born?" Some may think I'm silly to ask. Some go on a hunt for their original birth story and then their new birth story (imaginary of course) of choice. It's good to put the question out there. Then now, do you know for yourself how you would like to be born (where, when, with who, etc)?  Ask your unborn baby how he or she would like to be born. Spend evenings, days, weeks asking and see if you don't get a sense of what baby is telling you. These three moms listened...listened to their own story and to their baby's story. It seems as clear as a clear crisp day that all happened just as it was supposed to. ♥